Okay, so that’s weird right? Don’t just me, let me try to explain first. It’s not because she gets to eat cake pops, cookies, and Rice Krispy treats or even the fact that she can effortlessly rock chocolate smear all over her right cheek. Okay, maybe I am a bit jealous of all those things but I yearn for something else that she has. A quality she embodies.
This morning, before the daily work grind, I pulled into Starbucks for a little over-priced pick me up. Well waiting in line, with over-sized sunglasses to hide my tired eyes and blending in with my all black attire, a small, short gust of wind blew by my leg. Looking ahead of me, there she was, a cute, messy haired, little girl in a velvet, violet dress with matching violet tights. She bumped into me as I was adding my no-calorie sweetener to my dark and ominous coffee. How adult of me. Without looking at me or excusing herself, she said “I need to get napkins”. So carefree, yet assertive for a 5 year old. I’m envious.
I then started to talk in that obnoxious, family friendly, baby voice (that we all have in us) and asked her if she needed any help. “No, I can do it myself.” Damn girl, who are you? Do you want to be best friends? So determined and confident for a little tyke. I’m envious.
After barely grabbing her napkins off the enormous bar, she sped off, creating her own path like a little Tasmanian devil, except way cuter, have you ever actually googled a Tasmanian devil? Looney Tunes had it all wrong. I digress, I’m envious of the accomplished anklebiter.
As we get older, we begin to conform into what society defines as acceptable adults. We take a shower every day (nowhere does it say you have to wash your hair every day, ladies), we comb our hair (for the most part), we dress “our age”, we cut back on sweets, we get a job, we pay our bills, and so on and so forth, until our dying day. Trust me, I have always considered myself a rebel without a cause, but for the most part my tattoos are hidden during the work day out of respect, I tame down my cat eye makeup for the 9-5 grind, my hair is tied up (relatively) neatly, I keep my music to a dull roar in my office, and I pay my bills on time. What happened to us? We were all untamable small fries once, at what time during our adolescence did we begin to shed our assertiveness, our confidence and our complete disregard for what people think of us?
Maybe that’s why we love going out on the weekends so much because we get to let our inner violaceous child out. The whiskey sours and vodka sodas, allow her to come out and grab napkins on her tip toes among a land of giants, without a shadow of doubt.
I’m so guilty of falling victim to the “well, what will people think?” guilt trip and sometimes I even let it dictate my life choices. When in hindsight, as a 26 year old, I should reach down deep and find my inner brat, and be MYSELF. If a five year old, who has no sense of the world can do it, then god damnit I can do it.
You might say that self-expression and originality are welcomed these days, and you’d be 100% right. But I can’t help but wonder, (love you Carrie Bradshaw) if even those that do express themselves creativity through fashion, body modification, and art, are somewhat muted by some force that silences your inner guiltlessness. Even some of the most confident people I know, aren’t running around a coffee shop in a violet, velvet dress, with messy hair and with complete and utter disregard for the swollen eyed behemoths surrounding her. She doesn’t want to be like us. She doesn’t even think about her wants or desires, she is fueled by instinctual, guilt-free needs. She innocently finds a way to navigate the world in vibrant colors with clear direction. We should all be envious of the little girl in the coffee shop.